Sunday, October 24, 2010

Busy in the Kitchen and Fresh Express giveaway

Hey friends! How has your weekend been? Mine has been ... studious :/ props to all of you in school! especially while working. Books are hard work! I did go on a glorious long run yesterday (still pondering the Princess Marathon -- registration is $10 cheaper if you sign up by the 31st of October), and a run + weights this morning. Taking a little break from the books to show some gluten-free, vegan pics of eats over the past few months:

...and the lovely folks at Fresh Express and foodbuzz sent me some awesome coupons for free salad mix:

I would love to share 4 coupons with one of you readers :) To win, please leave a comment and tell me what your favorite thing to do in your 'spare time' is (or what you would love to do if you had any! lol). Contest ends next Sunday (31 October -- Halloween!)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

There you are blog!

hello blog world! it has been... quite some time! lol, a few months :) I have been uber-busy, working full-time (40+ hours per week), commuting way further (50+minutes... each way), and studying for a BIG exam... which is this Friday (thank God. I am so over hitting the books. and drinking vodka to relieve the stress, haha! maybe not the vodka...). My life for the past few months = work, work out, study -- barely see friends, barely do anything fun (hey, at least it's good for the budget!)... think hermit. which is so hard for me, since I am that girl you call when you need a shoulder to cry on, something fun to do, advice on cooking (but boys, not so much ;) - thank God I'm married now) or a dance party on your front porch (okay, that was my porch, last weekend, where I killed my friend Matt at darts, and I was the only one dancing! hey, still fun :)). so... I turned 27, cut my hair:

lost about a foot! it is awesome. I know it seems contradictory, since fall is upon us - but oh, Florida sunshine, cool here seems to be stuck at 87*. :/ i am jealous of all you sweater-wearing sassy pants out there! it makes me laugh when people talk about the cold or rain (we have been dry for weeks now) or even leaves changing color -- um, none of that here... but doesn't stop me from a closet full of coats! Must be fashionable for those 3 days a year you need a jacket. I have been running quite a bit - 3 or 4 times per week - and I'm thinking of doing a half marathon (go big or go home right?!) - maybe the princess half at the end of Feb in Orlando? anyone else doing that race? maybe I'm a little over-zealous or just so happy my knee is healed, but running has been *amazing* for stress relief!

I had *so many* pictures to post and my camera (my giant Canon Rebel) is MIA - I'm hoping the hubby put it somewhere secret when he was cleaning or took it with him to visit his fam... otherwise :( ... anyway, I will leave you with a recipe!

Scrumptious Pumpkin Pie-Oh My! Smoothie

because chocolate + pumpkin = food-gasm! so good ;)

1 scoop chocolate (vanilla would be good too!) Sun Warrior Protein

1/2 cup pumpkin

1/3 cup chia gel (to make gel: stir 4 tablespoons chia seeds into 2 cups water and let sit for about 20 minutes)

1 cup chilled Vanilla Chai Spice tea (or coffee! I've done both, and both are yummy!)

cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg (or pumpkin pie spice!), to taste (sorry, I don't measure - I just shake it baby! lotsa cinnamon)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

small chunk frozen banana (I use about 1/5 banana)

pinch sea salt

stevia, to taste (liquid or powder, vanilla liquid is my fave for this recipe)

1 tsp lucama powder

1 tsp maca powder

1 tsp spirulina, if you're trying for extra green nutrition (always!!!)

6 or so ice cubes

Blend it up in a blender (<3 my vita!) until smooth. drink. with a glass straw, because it is fun! wish you lived somewhere where it got *cold* in the winter months! You can leave out the lucama & maca if you aren't trying to use up bags of pricy powder that have been in your pantry for way too long. It will still be yummy :)

I plan to post more frequently.. and hopefully my camera will make an appearance! enjoy the rest of your weekend! xoxo

Friday, July 23, 2010

Deconstructed Kale Chips, Moving In, Trips

Hi bloggie friends! It's been so long, but I'm baa-aack! :) The last month has been pure craziness working on the house, commuting almost an hour each way to my day job, taking trips (last weekend - New York City - this weekend - Gainesville), and squeezing in exercise, cooking / un-cooking (in a, let's say, partially equipped kitchen), friends and LIFE!

So, what's a girl to do when she's craving cheezy kale chips, but there's no running water and the kitchen sink looks like this?

Deconstructed cheezy kale salad! I simply chopped a red pepper, and mixed it with all the usual ingredients for my kale chips - apple cider vinegar, olive oil (sometimes I use cashews for the fat content), sunflower & hemp seeds, lemon zest & juice, red chili flakes, a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper, and NOOCH! All massaged into a glorious bowl of kale:

so, so good! I'll definitely be making this recipe again. Dishes were done with the hose outside. We've actually gone 2 weeks with no functional kitchen sink. crazy right? the worst part is, I haven't been able to wash & put away all the dishes from the move! The plumber finally came yesterday and now the sink works (yay!), but we were so busy preparing for this weekend (the house is getting tented for termites, so we had to box up all the food to take with us, along with all the new-house bills that needed taking care of), I just didn't have time to finish. And this morning, yoga was calling :)

Other recent eats: Cookie Dough Snowball - Basically, take Averie's recipe, add half scoop each vanilla & chocolate Sun Warrior protein powder, stir & freeze. For the sweetener, I used splenda & stevia, and for the liquid I used almond milk (the Silk almond milk - I used plain because we had it, but vanilla would have rocked), and then about a tablespoon each agave & maple syrup. And Hershey's special dark cocoa powder. The whole thng tasted like cookies and cream. It might not look like much:

but it rocked my face off! So freaking delicious! Thanks, Averie, for the inspiration ;)

Well friends, my photos are taking forever to load and I wanna go hang with our friends, but enjoy your Friday (I am, already with a vodka club soda in hand - haha!)


Friday, June 25, 2010

New House, Blueberry Protein Ice Cream & Veggie Flat Bread

Hello bloggies! TGIF! What a week! I have some exciting news on the personal front -- we closed on our first house today! I am beyond excited! Expect some pictures to come... especially as we embark on tons of renovation projects (it was built in 1924!!!). I was super anxious all week, waiting for the loan to get approved, and the walk-through, and today was signing signing signing - but now we have the keys! Yay!

So after the paperwork mountain today, I had to go to work, then me & a co-worker friend changed the rear brake pads on my car, then I finally got home and was not exactly hungry, but munchy and had a ton of blueberries and Heaby's Protein Ice Cream came to mind. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 6+ months, you know about protein ice cream. Clearly, I've been living under a rock. Haha! This is what went into my Vita:

in case you need a photo interpreter, the liquid is half tea made from this:

(totally delish, by the way; very refreshing in all this heat), and half coconut milk, I used all xantham gum and no guar (it's what I had), liquid stevia, a raw protein/meal replacement powder (that, to be perfectly honest, I'm not a fan of the taste of), bee pollen, about a cup of blueberries, 2 big handfuls of ice & a sprinkle of sea salt. This is what it turned into:

Let me reiterate.

The most delicious thing ever. Why have I been under that rock all this time? Thank you Heather! You made my totally awesome Friday totally scrumptious! I really have no words, other than... I want this ice cream in every flavor possible (hello Baskin Robbins!)

I had this pizza-like craving yesterday, so I decided to try to make a flatbread-esque recipe based loosely on some raw recipes I've made in the past, plus my recent cracker hacking :) Here's the recipe:

2 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 1/2 cup water to make gel

1/3 cup flax meal

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

2 small cloves garlic

1/2 chopped tomato

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

2 large handfuls chopped kale or spinach

1 zucchini & 1 yellow squash, blended to smooth puree

1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper, or to taste

1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

crushed red pepper flakes & cayenne, to taste (I like it spicy!)

Here's the batter with the squash puree:

All stirred up:


Spread on a silpat and baked:

Baked at about 300*, about 30 minutes per side should do it. I started at 350* which was too high (notice the burnt, er crunchy crispy corners). Here's the bottom:

And a snack with a tomato and basil:

Even though the recipe needs tweaking, the taste was super yummy!

It's pluot season!!!

I've been eating lots of these lately. So good!

I'm off to enjoy the rest of my Friday night (read: finish laundry, get some shut-eye and get up early to clean and pick out paint!) Have any good plans for the weekend? Tell me all about it!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cracker (Recipe) Hacker

It's Huuuump Day! I'm a nervous nelly today :/ super full of anxiety. Hopefully by this time on Friday I will be sharing some very exciting personal (non-food related) news! Wish me luck :)

My gluten-free buddy Averie made some crackers the other day, and I had to try her recipe. I had recently tried these store-bought gluten-free crackers:

My main issue with them is they have a little soy in the form of soy sauce (soybeans only), but I try to avoid it. I was feeling snacky though and wanted crackers and they were out of Mary's the day I got them... The were good enough that hubby loved them! He ate them with hummus. Of course, I made a few tweaks ;) Hers were a sweet cracker, and I went the savory route - I used her measurements on chia, flax & sunflower seeds, then added a squirt of agave (about a tablespoon), a few tablespoons of Southwest Chipotle Mrs. Dash, a few grinds of the salt & pepper grinders, a *lot* of nooch (because I like it cheezy :), maybe 1/3 cup or so, a few shakes of cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes for spice, and cumin. Here's the dough spread on a silpat, ready for the oven:

and a close-up:

I just baked them at 300*F and skipped the dehydrator. I was feeling eager to try them and too impatient to wait ;) I baked them for about 25 minutes per side. Note that they will harden up as they cool! So take them out when they seem chewier and they'll get crispy. Here's the crackers straight from the oven:

and all cut up:

a comparison to the store bought cracker:

What was interesting was they didn't smell southwestern while they were baking -- they smelled like pizza! Like sundried tomato and oregano. It was crazy. So good though :) I had one with a little avocado for a snack:

It hit the spot! Creamy, cool avocado with a crispy, spicy cracker! Total comfort food.

Dinner tonight was cheezy massaged kale:

Dressing was fresh squeezed orange & lemon juice, Whole Foods German mustard, salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash lemon pepper, squirt agave, dash cayenne, shake crushed red pepper flakes, raw apple cider vinegar, all whisked together and massaged into kale with nooch and 1/4 avocado. So good!

It has been super hot and humid here. It's like a free sauna outside right? But I got the go-ahead from my physical therapist to resume some cardio (no running yet, but elliptical and bike are okay) and I've been doing some upper body strength training (awesome arms, abs & chest workout today after work). How do you deal with the heat (if it's hot where you are)? Do you shove your hair in a messy ponytail everyday? haha, that's what I do! I want to chop my hair all off, but my husband loves it long :) and to be honest, I do to... but it gets so unmanageable since it's naturally curly, and with the Florida humidity it never really seems to dry after I wash it. Any good hair tips?

The weekend will be here soon! Enjoy the rest of your week!